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Book Reviews341 with many variations and methods of preparation. The recipes are not always based on specific measurement, as was typical of the Civil War period; but for the most part, they are such that they can still be followed with relative ease. A recipe book of this type has an intriguing quality as well as a utilitarian use. Some of the variations will be new to the present-day cook. Many of the preparations of flavorings, spices, etc., are to be found only in the specialty shop—which adds to the delight of using this particular book. Special formulas for beverages are a fascinating addition. The author gives the place of origin of many recipes, which will help the cook to anticipate to some degree the nature of the finished dish. After reading the book, I enjoyed the preparation and results of a few of the recipes. Others will find the book just as much fun. For cooks who really enjoy "the art of cookery," Mrs. Smith's work is a good addition to the kitchen bookshelf. Jeannie H. James Illinois State Normal University Commanders of the Army of the Potomac. By Wanen W. Hassler, Jr. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1962. Pp. xxi, 281. $6.00.) Four generals officially commanded the Federal Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. They were, in order, George B. McClellan, Ambrose E. Bumside, Joseph Hooker, and George Gordon Meade. Three others, Irvin McDowell, John Pope, and U. S. Grant, commanded the main Federal forces operating on the Virginia front, although they did not officially command the Army of the Potomac. Professor Hassler's book is an attempt to compare and contrast the generalship of the seven Union commanders. Organizing his work chronologically, Hassler devotes a chapter to each of the generals—except for McClellan, whose two tours of duty are treated separately . The ninth and concluding chapter is a thoughtful summary of the strengdis and weaknesses of each commander. Those familiar with Hassler's fine study, General George B. McClellan, Shield of the Union, will not be surprised to learn that "Little Mac," along with Meade and Grant, is judged "to a greater or lesser extent" a "competent" commander of the Army of the Potomac. Nor will his conclusion that "McDowell , Pope, Bumside, and Hooker were essentially unsuccessful and unsatisfactory " raise many eyebrows. Professor Hassler's book does, however, raise a very important question about the function of the military historian. Believing, as he does, that the ultimate test of the general is his conduct of the battie, Hassler hurries through his treatment of his commander's relations with the government and with the public in order to get to the battlefield as quickly as possible. Once there he does a splendid job of describing the ground, the troop movements, and the command decisions involved in the battie. What tends to be obscured 342CIVIL WAR HISTORY by this procedure are the larger questions posed by the conduct of war in a democratic society. What, for example, are the responsibilities of the generalin -chief of an army, or those of a commander of a principal army, to the chief of state? What are the legitimate functions of the representatives of the sovereign people who sit in the Congress or cabinet during wartime? It is hardly sufficient to label some of them "Radicals" or "Jacobins," as Hassler does, and then imply that they were troublemakers or self-seeking politicians at worst, and misguided or incompetent meddlers at best. The problems and nature of military command in a democratic society will not be fully understood until scholars who can match the energy and learning displayed by Professor Hassler have probed more deeply into the tangled field of civil-military relations. Until then this evaluation of the commanders of the Army of the Potomac is the best we have and we are very much indebted to its author for a genuine contribution to the history of the Civil War. Davm S. Sparks University of Maryland Stanton: the Life and Times of Lincoln's Secretary of War. By Benjamin P. Thomas and Harold M. Hyman. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962. Pp. 643. $8.50...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 341-342
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-02
Open Access
N
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